Eat Like an Olympic Champion
Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just feel inspired after watching the Olympics over the last week, we could all do to emulate their eating habits. Everyone's got to start somewhere, so here are 5 easy tips to add to your daily eating habits.
1. Snack after exercise to aid in recovery.
Eating too much before exercise could leave you feeling queasy mid-crunch. Instead, it's recommended to keep a nutritious snack like seaweed crisps
in your gym bag to eat immediately after your workout. This will tie you over until you get home and can get your necessary protein intake. It's important to eat after exercise because you've just used up all the energy you need to function normally.
2. Don't skimp on calories. Olympians train harder than us mere mortals and therefore, they eat more than us too. If you're increasing your activity levels suddenly, make sure to up your food intake too. Besides the protein already mentioned, it's important to increase your intake of complex carbohydrate. Think sweet potatoes, fruits and brown rice rather than refined white bread and sugar. It's about eating right, not less.
3. Go plant based. From nine time Olympic gold medalist, Carl Lewis to Novak Djokovic to Team GB's very own Cheavon Clarke, an increasing amount of Olympians are turning towards a plant-based diet to meet (ha!) their nutritional needs. With Bird's Eye being named the Official Plant-Based Supporter of Team GB, it's safe to say going vegan no longer means living on greens and beans. With all supermarkets now selling impressive plant-based offerings, it's easier to cut back on your meat consumption than ever before.
4. Up your protein. No meat doesn't mean no protein. Be sure to consume plenty of tofu, tempeh, lentils, nuts, seeds, and quinoa. These proteins are all low in saturated fat, making them a better choice than most meats. Eating a variety of plant-based proteins will ensure you get enough essential amino acids. Protein plays a vital role in strengthening and repairing muscles as it makes up the structure of cells and tissues.
5. Listen to your body. If you restrict yourself entirely from your favourite comfort foods, eventually you're not going to feel like exercising or eating healthily. Eat when you're hungry, allow yourself treats and learn to make healthier versions of your favourite dishes. This is a sustainable approach to training like an Olympian in the long run, rather than burning out after three weeks.